Cinderella (2017): Matthew Bourne

Matthew Bourne's Cinderella★★★★

(Sadler’s Wells, London, until 27 January 2018)

My heart broke a little on Friday afternoon. I realised that Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella had returned to Sadler’s Wells this winter and was now completely sold out until the end of its run. I’d missed its last run too and had been similarly upset then, but good fortune came to my rescue. By chance, it had been broadcast on BBC2 over Christmas (I’d missed that too) and was still available on iPlayer. On Saturday afternoon, as the sullen wind rattled the sash windows, I curled up with a cup of tea and a blanket and sank happily into this reimagined fairy tale, set in the depths of the London Blitz. It’s classic Bourne, half ballet and half drama, with a dark substrata to its glittering fantasy.

Continue reading

The Car Man: Matthew Bourne

Bourne: The Car Man

★★★★

(Sadler’s Wells, 19 July 2015)

When I went to see Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty two years ago, I wrote about the frustration that I often feel when trying to understand classical ballet, and my corresponding fondness for Bourne’s irreverently gutsy style of storytelling. My favourite production by him will always be Swan Lake (the Adam Cooper version), but my first encounter with him was via a TV broadcast of The Car Man when I was a teenager.

Continue reading

Sleeping Beauty: Matthew Bourne

Sleeping Beauty: Matthew Bourne

★★★★½

(Sadler’s Wells, London, until 26 January 2013)

Generally speaking I find ballet to be a foreign country: I can appreciate its beauty but I simply don’t speak the language needed to feel entirely at home there. I can appreciate the sweeping vistas of tulle and the exaggerated gestures, but when I was younger they only emphasised the strangeness of this art form, which was clearly something for an initiated elite – of which I was not a member.

Continue reading